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mothers have an advantage in custody disputes

Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes?

mothers have an advantage in custody disputes

 

If you are going through a divorce, a primary concern is often your children and your child custody arrangements. It’s difficult for any parent to contemplate not having their children living with them all of the time, but it can be even more difficult for mothers who have a close bond with their children.

If you and your husband cannot come to custody terms that you both can sign off on, the court will need to decide the matter for you. While many people think that mothers have a natural advantage in such disputes, the truth is far more complicated. Understanding the basics related to child custody can help you navigate the process while standing up for your own parental rights.

Legal Custody

Custody is divided into two major concerns that include physical custody (related to with whom the children reside at any given time) and legal custody. It’s important to recognize that in the vast majority of divorces, both parents share legal custody, which refers to a parent’s rights to make important decisions on behalf of their children. These decisions include:

  • Matters related to your children’s health and well-being, such as medical care
  • Matters related to your children’s education
  • Matters related to your children’s religious upbringing

These are fundamental issues that shape your children’s lives, and it’s very likely that you and your divorced spouse will continue to make these important decisions together, although one parent is sometimes given tie-breaking authority.

Physical Custody

Physical custody relates to with whom your children reside primarily and to their visitation schedule with the other parent. While many people believe that mothers have an advantage when it comes to physical custody, this really isn’t an accurate assessment in many cases.

Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes?

The Court’s Stance

If you and your divorcing spouse cannot come to mutually acceptable terms regarding your children’s custody arrangements, the court will intervene and make a determination of how you will split custody rights.

The court will always favor what is in the best interest of your children, but this is obviously open to interpretation, and it’s important to remember that the court has considerable discretion in the matter. You obviously know your children in a way that the judge never can, and you know what’s best for them.

Courts often favor the status quo when making child custody decisions. In other words, if the mother has been the primary caregiver and she and the children are living in the family home while the case is pending, the judge may be hesitant to upset the balance and may be more inclined to award the mother primary custody.

This is generally more a function of how things are commonly arranged than it is a function of favoring the mother or of the mother having an advantage in the matter.

The Considerations at Hand

In determining child custody arrangements, the court is guided by the children’s best interests, but in the process, it takes a wide range of variables into consideration, including:

  • The emotional connections between each parent and the children
  • Each parent’s ability to provide the children with a loving home and a healthy life
  • Any criminal history
  • Any history of domestic abuse – either physical, emotional, or sexual
  • Any substance abuse issues
  • Any pertinent parental considerations that could affect the decision, such as age or disability
  • The location of each parent’s residence (who lives closer to the children’s school, for example)

None of these issues are gender-specific and, as such, the court’s decision cannot favor the mother. Many mothers, however, are already providing primary custodial care, and courts are not fond of dramatically disrupting children’s lives when they’re already going through the emotional challenge of divorce. After all, divorce is hard on everyone, but children are especially vulnerable.

Your Children’s Voices

Many parents wonder if their children’s preferences will guide – or should guide – the court’s custody decisions. The fact is that many judges will speak to your children privately (especially older children) and will take their preferences into careful consideration, but the decision is simply not up to your children.

The court is making determinations related to your children’s custody exactly because they are children who need custodial care. When your children are adults, they’ll make their own important decisions, but for now, those decisions must be made for them. Your children’s voices, nevertheless, may help guide the court’s ruling.

Reaching a Resolution

If you’re going through a divorce, emotions are inevitably running high. The stress and heartache of divorce leave many couples unable to reach mutually agreeable terms on many important issues. Both of you, however, naturally put your children first, and if you can find a way to hammer out custody arrangements that you can both live with, the court and its considerable discretion won’t need to be involved in the process.

Reaching a compromise with your children’s father can come in many forms. If you aren’t able to work together personally (which isn’t uncommon), your attorneys can attempt to negotiate an arrangement, and you can also address the issue via mediation – with the legal guidance of your respective divorce attorneys.

The post Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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child support

Child Support: Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent

child support

 

Success!

You’ve received an Order from the Court that requires your Ex to pay you child support each month, as well as an Order that your Ex pay some percentage of costs for things like extracurricular activities and extraordinary medical expenses for your child. The long legal battle is over, and you can rest.

Then, a few months later, the inevitable happens.

Your Ex does not pay.

Now what?

Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent

Fortunately, for those parents who have been awarded child support and/or reimbursement for extracurricular or extraordinary medical costs, the law provides several options for enforcement against the non-paying parent (“Obligor”).

Unfortunately, this process can be confusing, and many legal practitioners – and even Judges – struggle to understand which options apply in certain scenarios. (In any case, a party may seek a Citation for Contempt against a party that has failed to comply with a Court Order, but the focus of this article is enforcement, i.e.; how to get money in-hand).

To provide some guidance on enforcement options, the most common scenarios are addressed below:

My Ex has been ordered to pay a specific amount of child support each month and has not made the payment(s).

Under Colorado law, a child support payment is converted into an enforceable support judgment on the day that it is due and not paid, and immediately begins to accrue interest at a rate of 12%, compounded monthly. In cases where payments have not been made for many months or even years, the amount of interest owed on the unpaid child support can exceed several thousand dollars.

However, the operation of law that converts a missed payment into a support judgment does not magically deposit funds into your bank account. In order to obtain actual funds from the Obligor, you will need to file a “Verified Entry of Support Judgement” with the Court reflecting the timeframe at issue, the amount that should have been paid, the amount that was actually paid, and the interest accrued thereon.

Once this document is filed with the Court, you may seek enforcement against the Obligor’s employer, bank accounts, and property by way of liens or a Writ of Garnishment. There are pro’s and con’s to each method of enforcement, however, it is important to remember that support judgments are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

While it may take some time to recover all of the funds owed to you, you will continue to accrue interest on the principal amount owed and the Obligor is unlikely to escape ultimately paying the judgment over time.

In the case of garnishment with an Obligor’s employer, you will begin receiving payments directly from the employer each time that the Obligor receives a paycheck. However, Colorado law sets limits for the percentage of earnings that may be garnished, so you may receive smaller payments towards the total amount owed until that amount is paid off.

When garnishing a bank account, you will be limited in the amount that you recover by how much money the Obligor has in the account. For instance, if you seek to recover $1,000.00, and the Obligor only has $100.00 in the account, you will only receive $100.00 until/unless the Obligor places more funds into the account in the future.

Alternatively, a lien against property is a viable option and may result in a lump-sum payment, however, you may not receive the funds until the property is sold or otherwise transferred.

My Ex has been ordered to pay a percentage share of extracurricular expenses and extraordinary medical expenses but has failed to do so.

A distinction has been made, however, between amounts owed that are “sum certain,” such as the set monthly amount of child support, and payment of expenses that may fluctuate over time. Most often, this situation presents itself in cases where a party is ordered to pay a percentage amount owed towards extracurricular or extraordinary medical expenses for a child.

For example, if an Order requires that a party contribute 50% of the cost of extracurricular or extraordinary medical expenses for a child, the actual dollar value of that amount may fluctuate from month to month. Certainly, there will be months when there are no extraordinary medical expenses, and other months when there may be significant expenses (perhaps a child has broken an arm). The same is true for extracurricular costs.

This issue becomes even more complicated when there is specific language in the Court’s Order regarding notice to the other party about the amount of the expense, timelines, and requirements for exchange of receipts and/or invoices, and whether the agreement of both parties is necessary for the expense to be reimbursable.

When dealing with this scenario, the very first step is to ensure that you have complied with all of the notification and exchange of documentation requirements necessary under your specific Court Order. If you have done so, then any failure by the opposing party to pay the amount owed will result in a support judgment, subject to the same interest and enforcement procedures as described in the previous section.

However, because the amount owed can be subject to debate (the other party may claim that you failed to provide documentation or notice as required, or may even dispute the actual amount spent or owed), you cannot simply file a Verified Entry of Support Judgment and immediately seek enforcement. Instead, you must file a “Motion for Entry of Support Judgment” and request that the Court enter an Order awarding you the support judgment and certifying the amount owed.

In this scenario, the Obligor has a due process right to file a Response with the Court, disputing the amount at issue and/or your compliance with the notice and documentation requirements, and may even request an evidentiary hearing regarding these issues. Unlike enforcement of a “sum certain” amount of child support owed, you cannot seek a Writ of Garnishment or enter a lien against property in this scenario until you have received an Order from the Court regarding your Motion for Entry of Support Judgment.

However, once you receive an Order granting your Motion, you may seek the same enforcement options described above.

My Ex has failed to pay both the monthly child support amount AND their contribution to extraordinary expenses.

In the case that your Ex has failed to pay both a “sum certain” amount of child support and has failed to pay their portion of extracurricular and/or extraordinary medical expenses, you will need to seek enforcement under both options outlined above.

You will need to file a Verified Entry of Support Judgment for the amounts owed and not paid as specific child support, and a Motion for Entry of Support Judgement for any amounts that would have been subject to debate or fluctuation over time and seeking a Court Order establishing the amount owed as a judgment.

The post Child Support: Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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custody dispute

Why I Used a Paralegal Instead Of an Attorney During a Custody Dispute

custody dispute

 

When I moved to a new state and my ex showed up after 3 years of not seeing our children with a lawyer and a petition for custody of our younger son, I was lost. I was also broke, with no money to hire an attorney.

Being unfamiliar with the laws and procedures of my new state, I started doing my homework. I also began to worry because a custody case was far more legally treacherous than anything I’d done on my own before. I knew I needed help making sure I was filing the appropriate paperwork with the appropriate court.

Why I Used a Paralegal Instead Of an Attorney During a Custody Dispute

I found out, via my own personal experience, that a paralegal can be a valuable asset if you are not using an attorney. If you’re going through a divorce, but don’t want to break the bank, you might be asking yourself, can I use a paralegal instead of a divorce attorney? In most states, it is legal to use the services of a certified paralegal to help with the paperwork generated by the divorce process.

In some states independent paralegals have been given legal right to serve as “legal document preparers,” so if you have a motion to file or a petition to draw up, you are within your legal right to hire a paralegal.

Things Paralegals can do

Paralegals can legally prepare divorce forms for you, and they can tell you where those forms need to be filed. Paralegals can also tell you how to serve divorce forms to your spouse, and help you fill out state-specific forms for modifying child support or alimony.

Things Paralegals can’t do

Paralegals can’t give you legal advice. They also can’t go to court and advocate for you the same way a divorce attorney will. If you are experiencing a fairly simple, uncontested divorce, you can save money by using a paralegal instead of a divorce attorney.

If your divorce is highly conflicted, with issues such as a custody battle or large assets to split, a paralegal is not something you want to consider. Their knowledge of court procedure and state divorce laws are limited, which makes them less valuable in a high conflict situation.

How to Find a Paralegal

As with a divorce attorney, you should not contract with a paralegal without first doing research into their background. Check with your Better Business Bureau for any complaints, and ask prospective paralegals about their experience and education. Making sure your paralegal is qualified is imperative when using one in place of a divorce attorney.

Sometimes Paralegals Know More

If your divorce is highly conflicted with issues such as a custody battle or large assets to split a paralegal is not something you want to consider. Their knowledge of court procedure and state divorce laws are limited which makes them less valuable in a high conflict situation.

As with a divorce attorney, you should not contract with a paralegal without first doing research into his/her background. Check with your Better Business Bureau for any complaints. Ask about their experience and education. Experience and qualifications are imperative when choosing a paralegal!

In my case, the paralegal I found looked over the case paperwork, and help me get everything done appropriately for a small fee. Here is the kicker: My paperwork was in good order, and my ex’s attorney had filed the petition for custody with the wrong court.

Thanks to the paralegal, we slowed down the process a bit, and when I did show up in court, all of my documents were properly filed and in order. Help can come from unexpected places. If you aren’t able to hire an attorney but need to use the court to protect your legal rights, a paralegal can guide you through the process and alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety.

The post Why I Used a Paralegal Instead Of an Attorney During a Custody Dispute appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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aggressive parenting

Is Your Ex An “Aggressive Parent?” Here Are 9 Signs

aggressive parenting

 

According to Alan Kemp in his book Abuse in the Family, domestic violence is defined as “A form of maltreatment perpetrated by a person with whom the victim has or had a close personal relationship.” (Kemp, P.36)

Furthermore, the clinical and textbook definitions and categories of child psychological maltreatment found in Table 3-1 of Alan Kemp’s book, Abuse in the Family, on pages 72-77, can easily be applied to show it as a horrific form of domestic violence via psychological maltreatment.

This book is just one of many textbooks used to teach students and professionals about psychological maltreatment and the categories that make it up. Whether one believes in the term parental alienation or not, the following criteria help to show that certain behavior perpetrated by a parent can cause a child to withdraw their love from the other parent.  For the sake of this article, we will term this abuse as aggressive parenting.

9 Signs of Aggressive Parenting:

  • Rejecting (spurning)
  • Terrorizing
  • Corrupting
  • Denying essential stimulation, emotional responsiveness, or availability
  • Unreliable and inconsistent parenting
  • Mental health, medical, or educational neglect
  • Degrading/devaluing (spurning)
  • Isolating
  • Exploiting

An Explanation of the 9 Signs

By deliberately isolating the child from other family members and social supports, isolation is occurring.  The whole premise of aggressive parenting is to isolate and distance the children from the targeted parent or any other individual who supports the targeted parent.

If the aggressive parent uses threats or denigrating tactics, to force the child to comply, this can be seen as terrorizing.  As well, verbal denigration, harassment and exploitation of the targeted parent is very prominent and a key indicator of aggressive parenting.

In addition, domestic violence includes the exploitation and use of the child for personal gain.

Thus in aggressive parenting, when the child is used to destroy the targeted parent by denying visitation or a relationship between the other parent and the child or is used for monetary gains such as excessive expenses beyond child support, they are in effect committing domestic violence.  It is for these reasons that aggressive parenting or isolating the children from the Targeted Parent can be considered as a form of domestic violence.

Rejecting/Terrorizing

Let’s take this a bit further in its application. When a parent rejects a child because the child shows any love or affection for the targeted parent that is a form of abuse. This is not only a form of rejection but terrorization. In fact, a child’s refusal to come to the targeted parent’s home for fear of losing the aggressive parent’s conditional love is fear and fear is terror.

Corrupting

When an aggressive parent refuses to comply with court orders and tells the child they do not have to either, this is corrupting. It is teaching the child that they are above the law and therefore immune to the court’s authority.  When a parent files false allegations of abuse and convinces the child to do the same, this is corruption.

When an aggressive parent tells the child lies about the targeted parent, and that anything having to do with the targeted parent is illegal, immoral and disgusting, this is corrupting.  In fact, this is a form of discrimination and prejudice, which corrupts the child’s minds.

Denying Essential Stimulation, Emotional Responsiveness, or Availability

By refusing to allow the children to have a relationship with the targeted parent, for no reason other than their own need to control the ex-spouse, the aggressive parent is denying them the basic elements of stimulation, emotions, and availability with the targeted parent. In fact, the targeted parent has little to no opportunity to defend themselves against false allegations.

Though they will have you believe that they or the children feared for their lives and that the targeted parent was abusive, this is usually unsubstantiated or proven by the courts to be a fabrication. With no basis for this denial, the aggressive parent refuses their child a warm and loving relationship with the targeted parent.

Unreliable and Inconsistent Parenting

Since the children have been denied a relationship with the targeted parent, they have also been denied a reliable and consistent parenting situation and the aggressive parent has proven that they cannot parent consistently and reliably in the supporting of a two-parent relationship with the children.

Mental, Medical and Educational Neglect

When an aggressive parent refuses to comply with numerous separate court orders for counseling, they are denying their children’s mental health. Thus mental neglect has occurred as defined in the DSM IV as Malingering.

Denigrating/Devaluing

If despite numerous court orders or requests and recommendations, the aggressive parent continues to insult, verbally abuse and denigrate the child’s targeted parent in front of the child, this behavior degrades and devalues someone the child once respected and loved and in most cases, secretly wants a relationship with.

This disdain and disrespect for the targeted parent in front of the child is another form of psychological maltreatment as it permanently affects their view of the targeted parent, which transfers to their view of themselves. This creates a distorted sense of reality, of themselves and their ability to trust and accurately judge others.

Isolation

When a parent deliberately sabotages a relationship with the targeted parent by refusing to allow visits, calls, or any form of healthy communication, with no evidence of abuse, this is called isolation. Furthermore, when a parent has initially allowed continuous contact with the children during the separation and divorce period, but reneges on this, refusing visitation, especially when they find out their ex-spouse has a new partner, this is isolation and abuse.

This is also called Remarriage as a Trigger for Parental Alienation Syndrome and can be further reviewed in an article by Dr. Richard Warshak, There is no doubt this is isolation and thus psychological abuse.

Exploitation

When a parent uses the children as pawns to get back at their ex spouse for not loving them anymore or to control them further, this is exploitation.  When an aggressive parent uses the children and makes false allegations of abuse, terrorizing the children to state they hate the targeted parent, this is exploitation.  When a parent uses the children for monetary gains such as child support, but yet does not allow the children a relationship with the targeted parent, this is exploitation.

In Conclusion

When you add all these signs up, it is easy to see how Aggressive Parenting, can be classified as child psychological maltreatment in a divorce situation.  When you put it all together, the DSM sums up the aggressive parent quite nicely under Cluster B Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder.

The aggressive parent willfully and without regard to the child or the targeted parent’s welfare, or the innocent extended family’s welfare, continually violates their rights and disregards their needs for a relationship. The aggressive parent callously puts their own desires, wants and needs above those of everyone else including their own child.

This all adds up to one thing, Domestic Violence in the form of psychological maltreatment.  So why does Child Protective Services refuses to protect the children from this form of abuse when the signs and symptoms are so clearly evident?

The post Is Your Ex An “Aggressive Parent?” Here Are 9 Signs appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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The Thriver’s Guide To Co-Parenting With A Narcissist

The Thriver’s Guide To Co-Parenting With A Narcissist

 

Narcissists don’t co-operate with joint parenting, and co-parenting with one can seem IMPOSSIBLE.

They like to disagree with anything you suggest; refuse to turn up or stick to prior arrangements and mess with your children’s appointments, possessions and their heads!

Are you feeling POWERLESS to get this person to see sense and act decently for the sake of the children? Are you sick of watching your children get hurt, distressed, disappointed and even blatantly abused?

If so, then I offer you this complete guide to a different way to parent with a narcissist that offers real healing solutions.

 

 

Video Transcript

When it comes to co-parenting with narcissists, it really seems impossible because they are not cooperative.

When co-parenting with a narcissist, he or she will commonly use the children to trigger you, affect you, keep you bound up in court and custody battles, and mine narcissistic supply from you.

This is a common way that narcissists continue to abuse ex-partners.

What can help significantly is Parallel Parenting, because this can create space, healing and power for you. It keeps your children removed from their parents’ battles, and also helps you have enough healing and detachment to be the solid, powerful influence that your children need you to be.

Okay, before we get started, thank you everyone who has subscribed to my channel for supporting the Thriver Mission. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, I want to remind you to please do. And if you like this video, please make sure you hit the like button.

Now, let’s dive in.

 

What Is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel Parenting is a co-parenting experience where the parents are disengaged from each other and have limited direct contact. Parallel parenting is about enforcing boundaries and then holding them.

Parallel parenting means that you have separate parenting experiences. At first it can seem really counter-intuitive to do this, yet I promise you that this is the healthiest thing for your children.

One of the ways that continued contact between you and your narcissistic ex damages your children – even more than you could possibly imagine – is if they see you traumatised, feeling powerless, acquiescing and handing away yourself, rights and boundaries.

This sets up your children’s template to be abused or abusive when they get older. It’s what they will likely work from because it forms the foundations of their inner, learned Love Code.

The narcissist can also line you up by triggering you to then turn your children against you – by making you out as the ‘bad’ one.

Naturally, it can be very confronting for you to adopt that level of detachment, especially when the narcissist has your children.

Most definitely we would love to have input into our children’s wellbeing when they are with the narcissist. But the narcissist knows this, and it becomes one of the greatest hooks he or she will use to abuse you and potentially your children.

 

Doing What is Instinctively Natural DOESN’T Work.

Monitoring, lecturing and prescribing to a narcissist does not make them better parents. In fact, it energises them to act up against you and the children, and to use whatever it takes to keep triggering and punishing you.

This doesn’t just result in the children being disappointed, let down, neglected or abused. It also means that you become more traumatised and distraught, which then affects your ability to be a solid, stable, calm and peaceful influence for your children.

So, above all else, you want to take this power away from the narcissist. The more victimised, brutalised and resenting of the narcissist and the situation you feel, when trying to co-parent, the more painful the feeling of being victimised, brutalised and resentful will be, and the more you will co-generate, with the narcissist, these experiences.

Narcissists are a spiritual soul mirror of the most ferocious magnitude. Simply feeling traumatised by them, even without contact, feeds these people the physic energy to keep doing what they are doing.

I know it’s tough; I know it’s horrific.

My heart goes out to you in spades, because I don’t think there is anything more traumatising and serious than when our children are affected.

To survive this and then Thrive for you and your children, regardless of the narcissist co-parent, means that you need to find another way to deal with the situation – a way that works.

You need true solutions for you and your children, and now I’m going to give them to you in four significant steps.

 

Step Number 1 – Acceptance

To get started on the healthiest track for you and your children, it’s vital to accept that this co-parenting experience is happening; that you are not dealing with a reasonable person; and that the normal rules of engagement don’t apply.

Stop expecting this person to do the right thing, comply or make co-parenting harmonious. Let go of that requirement, and all your triggered trauma regarding it, and start focusing on your Being and generating what you CAN to make the best of the situation.

Know that you are in for the long haul, and accept this too. If you keep mired in the victimised feelings of the situation, not only is it going to be hard to emerge from it victorious, it is also going to be deeply detrimental to your children.

The greatest gift we can ever grant our children, is the knowing that life can deal lemons and that we DO have the resources and the way to make lemonade – regardless of how awful it is.

Passing on our victimisation to our children, means they too will remain trauma ridden and will continue the cycles of abuse/abused in their life and their future generation’s lives. The cycle will continue with them attaching themselves to people who make them feel victimised, let down and abused.

I promise you it is NOT true that both us and our children can’t heal when co-parenting is involved.

There are more people in this community having parallel parenting healthy experiences with narcissists than you could imagine. This isn’t some fluke – it’s because they have accepted their situation, rolled up their sleeves and worked very hard at their Beingness and putting in place what is necessary to achieve this.

What else is there to do?

 

Step Number 2 – Emotional Healing and Detachment

What it is that feeds the narcissist the energy needed to keep hurting you, are your emotional triggers.

Triggers that if left unattended inside you, above all else, will derail you. There are no bigger terrors, I believe, than the ones attached to our children being hurt, or the fears of losing them. And I know this is some of the most difficult inner work you can ever do.

Yet, no matter how counter-intuitive it is and hard it is to do, if you release these traumas you will emerge from them powerful and solid. You will absolutely be able to take action in powerful, clear ways without being derailed by your inner triggered trauma.

Then, in everyday shenanigans with a narcissist, you’ll know when a certain message does not require a response, whereas before it might have sent you into a spin.

You will be able to have boundaries, hold them and enforce them without fear.

And you will be able to gently, lovingly and solidly respond to your children, in ways that empower them rather than make them drown in deeper victimisation.

This STEP is completely foundational, essential and is truly the difference between struggling with co-parenting and achieving parallel-parenting that works. I can’t emphasis this enough!

If you try parallel parenting, whilst still feeling non-acceptance of the situation, triggered and victimised, you won’t be able to create solidness and safety. This is because the entire time the narcissist is still receiving the psychic energy from you to keep going after you for narcissistic supply.

Also, you will discover that the right people, assistance, answers, and breakthroughs DON’T come if there are unreleased traumas still screaming inside you.

What comes instead, is Life generating within you, to the letter, more of your already existing traumatised inner programmed beliefs about your situation.

My Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP) helps you release the trauma of co-parenting with a narcissist. It is the tool, these people who successfully parallel parent, use.

Over the years, I have had parents tell me that they don’t have time to NARP, because of the kids and the battles with the narcissist. But, truly, this is when we need to be doing this inner work the most. It is the only way I know of to start getting off the trauma hamster wheel with a co-parenting narcissistic ex.

 

Step Number 3 – Create Boundaries and Accountability

The key to successful parallel parenting is to legally create a strict Parenting Plan that contains as much detail in it that you feel necessary.

The Parenting Plan is about parenting separately. It means you don’t do children’s birthdays together. You have your own designated times for school and sporting events. You don’t have contact when dropping off or picking up the children. And it also means your ex can’t just turn up at your house at any time.

It’s vital to put a lot of thought into the Parenting Plan so that there are no grey areas and all contact – other than third party channels – is eliminated.

Also, you need to include a third-party communication hub such as Our Family Wizard (OFW). OFW is a favoured parallel-parenting communication tool in the Thriver Community.

Once set up, this portal is the only way you and the narcissist communicate. All communication is recorded, can’t be erased, and is admissible in court.

If the narcissist changes the plan for the parenting access or doesn’t even make contact – it is recorded. There is no need for you to, react, fix or mop up the pieces – and it is most important that you don’t!

Your boundaries – coupled with working hard with NARP on any triggers that go off within you – means that you can answer any request that comes through OFW as, ‘This is what I am prepared to do and this is what I am not prepared to do.’ Do not comply to the narcissist’s demands and changes. Stick to your agreed Parenting Plan.

Then just record, date and collate every incidence. Stay calm, keep shifting out what arises, and DON’T bite back.

The golden rule of using OFW is this: ‘Anything personal or abusive or accusatory, I remove myself from it and don’t reply to it – period. Any changes to the plan, I don’t comply to.’

See your solicitor to enforce necessary boundaries. Don’t try to bargain, reason with or get the narcissist to understand – that feeds them exactly the attention they are trying to get from you.

Again, every step of the way, keep shifting out any fear or pain that is triggered off within you with NARP.

When you use the portal correctly, keep releasing inner triggers, and don’t respond, the narcissist gets no payoff. He or she can’t extract narcissistic supply, and what they are trying to do gets completely exposed.

The narcissist will despise getting nothing from you. And if you are in court, give them nothing either. Don’t look at the narcissist or his or her solicitor, and only speak directly to the judge.

Then, when finally you have become emotionally disinterested in reacting to the narcissist’s games, and are simply dealing in your empowered, inwardly calm and solid way – everything shifts.

Many narcissists truly stop their ridiculous behaviour at this point. And I’ve even seen countless narcissists capitulate and give people exactly what they asked for regarding custody and settlements.

There is nothing more disconcerting for a narcissist than trying to affect a person, who is no longer affected by them. Additionally, this empowerment and calmness often enrages narcissists, who then metaphorically hang themselves with huge outbursts of nastiness. A narcissist unravelling may be recorded on OFW or appear for all to see in a courtroom.

From your side, please don’t ever diagnose the narcissist as having a personality disorder. Don’t try to expose character, but rather calmly present factual evidence regarding their behaviour.

Many a Thriver has legally won against a narcissist, because of this happening. I promise you, the narcissist is nowhere near as powerful as you may think.

Step Number 4 – Become A Thriver For You and Your Child

I totally believe that all of us, including our children, have at soul level made no mistakes about the learning, healing and growing journeys that we go through.

I know how well my son and countless children of other Thrivers have fared in this Community, because of what we went through with them and because we led the way. Instead of staying victimised and telling our children how bad our life and their lives were because of being with narcissists – we do something completely different.

We keep shifting out trauma and becoming wiser, more real, solid and true, regardless of what happened to us, what we lost or what the narcissist continued to try to do.

Leading by example, we teach our children incredible healing and empowerment because of what happened to us.

As a result of working hard on our inner wounds, we can clean up all the internal barriers to being self-generative. We can start emerging healthier and more able to create security, lifeforce, joy and resources. We are able to release the hooks of dependency that make us hand our power away to abusers.

By doing so, we become more evolved parents, despite circumstances, than we have ever previously been.

When Zac, my son, and I did a Facebook live presentation together recently, he shared how previously he couldn’t stand being around me – my victim energy was so toxic. Because of not healing myself effectively, I was completely absent for him. It wasn’t until I knew my biggest mission for Zac was to get well – that he did as well. And thank goodness I realised, because I nearly once lost him to parent alienation and then again to a drug and alcohol addiction.

All of these things are now in the past – and we couldn’t be closer as Mother and Son.

Such a shift within us as parents means that when our children are dismayed by the narcissist’s poor, disappointing or hurtful behaviour, you can fully validate how hurtful this feels, but stop reinforcing their helplessness and victimisation. This will happen when you don’t rubbish the other parent but empower your children instead.

You can do this by teaching them their worth, boundaries and rights through your own calm, clear actions. Also, by expressing to them how much you love them, see them and believe in them, regardless of what anyone else is or isn’t doing (including the narcissistic parent).

I have found that so many Thriver’s children gravitate to the Thriver parent, detach more and more from the narcissistic one, and become wise and empowered beyond their years.

And I can’t tell you how many special children, who are connected to Thriver parents in this community, are doing their own internal, organic versions of Quanta Freedom Healing, as a result of living with their Thriver parent. Even young children.

Imagine being four years of age and letting go of internal trauma and filling up with Source Energy, as a result of living with a parent who does this! It is happening. We are leading the way for these little Quantum Beings!

As adults, these children, as the result of a healing and evolving parent leading the way, will not need to continue unconsciously being involved in abusive relationships in order to awaken to their healing and evolution back to themselves.

What an incredible gift to get this out of the way so young! Can you imagine if we could have? Can you understand how this sets up the future generations to be conscious, authentic and free from abuse?

I so hope this video has helped.

As I said before. It is completely my belief that if you are co-parenting you need all the support, power and inner shifting you can get – for you and your children.

I invite you to join me in my free webinar, where I will take you through a Quanta Freedom Healing to get you started.

You can do this by clicking this link.

And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

As always I am greatly looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.

*Affiliate link

 

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Why Narcissists Are So Cruel To You And Kind To Everybody Else

Why Narcissists Are So Cruel To You And Kind To Everybody Else

 

Narcissists can be so lovely, charming, friendly and downright accommodating with everyone else but SO moody, dark, nasty and even cruel to you.

Why is getting the narcissist to do ANYTHING for you near impossible, or when assistance is forthcoming, uses this as a bargaining chip or guilt tool against you?

How can the narcissist in your life treat you like DIRT and other people like GOLD?

If this describes your relationship, then this is a must-read article for you.

You will learn exactly WHY this happens as well as how to escape from the horror of it – forever.

 

So many people shake their head at this.

Why are narcissists so cruel to you and so kind to everyone else?

It really is like living with a Street Angel/Home Devil.

How can this be possible?

And, it may not just be you they are cruel to – it may be the people you care about – such as your children or the family.  You may discover that the narcissist doesn’t give two hoots about them, yet will bend over backwards and grant the world, even to total strangers.

What is this about?

I promise you there are absolute reasons for this – and by reading this article you will know 100% why narcissists are so cruel to you and kind to everyone else!

You will also know, exactly how to heal from the trauma of this and have people flood into your life who do get it, validate you, and know the truth.

In today’s article, I want to start with validating EXACTLY how this feels and how damaging this has been for you.

 

The Trauma of No-One Understanding What Is Really Happening!

I can’t tell you how often, I have heard stories like the one that Caroline shared with me.

This is what she said … Joseph her father was a gloomy, angry tyrant at home, yet all of the neighbourhood loved this apparently jovial, funny and larger than life man.

The following is why she was so upset ….

He was forever helping people out with odd jobs, advice and even going as far as giving the elderly rides to their doctor’s appointments.

Everyone loved him, yet Diana, Caroline’s mother, did not dare ask Joseph for anything from him, because he would argue, bluster, call her terrible names and storm out on her.

Caroline had learnt from a very early age, not to ask her father for anything. It was easier and more peaceful to stay out of his way and hope that he wouldn’t be home. If he ever he did say he would do something for her, it was on his own time (usually far too late) and would never be finished anyway.

Caroline’s school friends told her how wonderful her father was, and how their parents loved having him around. Joseph was regularly invited places and hung out with people. He would much rather do this than spend time with his family – even though of course he told other people about all the supposed things he did for and with them.

Then there was Paul married to June.

June was controlling, angry, jealous and insecure. She demanded Paul’s full allegiance to her and told him repeatedly how their friend’s husbands were granting and caring for their wives much better than he did.

Yet, when Paul and June entertained, she was a gracious, friendly, generous and attentive hostess. She did not argue with Mark or belittle him in public. People used to tell Mark what a beautiful and lovely wife he had, without having any idea what June was like as soon as the last car left their driveway.

She would dissect the evening, criticising, judging and being jealous about what Mark did or didn’t do that evening.

When Mark came forward in this community, completely bewildered, his burning question was: ‘Why is she so cruel to me and so kind to everyone else?’

Of course, it’s terrible when people have no idea who you are really dealing with and may even label you as complaining and out of line when you try to explain facts to them. You may even be pinned as ‘the abusive one’, and told that you should be incredibly grateful for this ‘wonderful’ person in your life.

Maybe you are questioning your own sanity, or wondering whether you must make this person like this!

This is so common in narcissistic abuse, and I know that it’s incredibly likely that you went through this too.

You may have even suffered the terrible confusion of being connected to the Altruistic Narcissist – wondering whether everyone else did have it right and you were the sick one imagining things! After all the Altruistic Narcissist can also be LOVELY as well as incredible CRUEL, at times, to you too!

Okay … I REALLY want to help you with all this horrible confusion (that I lived through too), so let’s look at the REAL reasons why narcissists are so cruel to you and kind to everyone else.

Reasons that are NOT your fault.

 

Reason # 1 – Requiring Constant Narcissistic Supply

It’s all about Narcissistic Supply – the number 1 driver of any narcissist.

A narcissist is a False Self, a consummate actor – being whoever they need to be to get narcissistic supply effectively and efficiently – which means the attention, accolades and acclaim that feeds the empty black hole that is their Inner Being.

Without narcissistic supply, as a drip feed continuously, a narcissist no longer has a buffer to numb out (self-medicate away) the inner screaming wounds of defectiveness, emptiness and feelings of not being worthy of existing.

Which in other words are the by-products of a severely stunted and fractured self-identity, and the resulting dire insecurity of this.

To get their drug (narcissistic supply) on a regular basis, means people providing them attention. To secure ‘prey’ (the food source) means getting people to like and trust them.

It’s so important to understand winning people’s confidence has nothing to do with genuine ‘giving’. The niceties, charitable acts and putting themselves out for people is purely agenda based. The narcissist receives no pleasure from making a difference to people’s lives, he or she is getting a hit of narcissistic supply by getting their ego stroked every time they are told how wonderful they are.

 

Reason # 2 – Familiars Don’t Provide Constant A-Grade Narcissistic Supply

Now you may ask – okay if the narcissist is after narcissistic supply – why are narcissists so cruel to me and kind to everybody else?

Why doesn’t he or she do lovely things for me or my family or my children, to gain narcissistic supply from me?

The answer to this is simple.

You are not going to fawn over the narcissist every time they do something ‘nice’. Mature family or love relationship members know that they are a part of a kind, caring team who naturally does things for each other.

It’s usual that a husband, wife, or other family members will be responsible,  decent and giving without jumping up and down and needing their own personal agenda fulfilled, or having a red carpet rolled out complete with a fanfare every time they do something for someone.

Yes, children and teenagers go through their selfish stages of not wanting to contribute – but this is all a part of learning about responsibility, caring for others and growing up.

Narcissists have never grown up, it is all about them, and it’s not just about selfishness. Narcissists take it a step further, by needing the constant attention and accolades to emotionally survive.

People outside of familiars offer a fertile hunting ground for this.

Narcissists know that to retain these many sources of supply, they can’t be nasty to them. Things are different with familiars who the narcissist has hooked to them – family members, love partners or the like – he or she knows they can treat them abysmally and they will still hang around.

With an outside source of supply, if the narcissist is not getting enough of a hit of narcissistic supply, rather than rip shreds off these people, they will just slink away and chase up the next target for it.

And because these sources may dry up, then the narcissist is on the hunt, always, for more.

Now let’s further investigate why narcissists are so cruel to you and kind to everybody else.

Especially the cruel part …

 

Reason # 3 – Punishing You For Not Providing A-Grade Narcissistic Supply

You may be horrified by how demanding, childish and entitled a narcissist behaves when they actually do something for you and require your recognition afterwards.

Of course, this behaviour was not taking place in the early days (in the case of a love relationship) and is not the case when the narcissist is hoovering you – love-bombing you to try to stop you leaving.

Things are pretty black and white with a narcissist – they are either ‘lovely’ or downright sullen and even nasty. All the giving that a narcissist performs is agenda based, the deal is brokered in their favour no matter what it looks like, and if there is not any foreseeable payoff of narcissistic supply, he or she will be resistant, angry, argumentative, and want retribution.

Such as: using guilt trips held against you regarding ‘what I do for you and you don’t do for me.’ (Regardless of course of what you have done or do.) Or, doing the task in a terrible way that has not helped you at all; starting it and refusing to finish it off; refusing to start it and then accusing you of being controlling and uncaring if expecting them to do it now.

Or telling you that it will be done, dangling it like a carrot and enjoying the fact that you are left hanging indefinitely.

And even, extremely painfully, creating an argument or a separation with you so that he or she can get out into the world and suck A-grade narcissistic supply from someone else.

The narcissist needs to punish you for even thinking you could minimalise them by trying to force them to act normal – like everyone else is supposed to.

The narcissist, when hurting you in these ways, is not going for ‘positive’ narcissistic supply such as of accolades anymore. For them it is now about gaining ‘negative’ narcissistic supply: ‘I am significant because I can affect you this intensely’.

Now you ARE supplying additional A-grade narcissistic supply to the narcissist, via your dismay and devastation. It makes the narcissist feel omnipotent.

You may think that you can be gracious and grateful and train a narcissist to stay around and be nice by providing enough narcissistic supply. Yet it doesn’t work … here’s why …

Every narcissist has a seething inner self of self-damnation and self-loathing that has to be spewed onto someone.

Close intimates are the narcissists preferred and really only constant dumpmasters, because these people have been groomed and trauma bonded enough to stick around and fulfil this role. So even if you try to be the loving, dutiful, congratulatory person, if you stay with a narcissist, you will not love and congratulate your way out of abuse.

Many people have tried it.

You may have, I did too – but so much of our awakening is knowing that people will treat us how we allow them to, and if we stay around for the inevitable abuse, that the narcissist bit by bit tested to see what we would remain for – it will just worsen, no matter how much you try to please, love and be kind to this person.

I also know of people who let narcissists not help or contribute in any way, yet then the narcissist accuses them of not including them in their lives and attacks them mercilessly about that! (I tried that one too!)

You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t by the time someone is narcissistically cruel to you and you stay connected to them. That is enabling them to continue doing so.

Okay, so I really hope these three reasons have helped you understand, in DEEP detail, why narcissists are so cruel to you and kind to everybody else.

Now let’s bring this back to YOU, so that you can escape and heal from this terrible agony, and start getting validation, care and genuine love into your life.

 

Bringing the Power Back to You

Many people in this community already know the powerful secret to coming home to yourself and taking your power back.

It’s this: Detach from the source of the pain, turn inwards, go to ‘what hurts’ inside, stop holding other people responsible for it and HEAL it within.

That formula is the ONE thing that will always heal and turn your life around beyond description.

Let me explain in this instance, what I mean, by sharing my journey with narcissist number 1.

The number of unfinished pieces and incomplete aspects of anything he had to do for us in the marriage was mind-boggling. In fact, my life was a constant drama of mopping up all the loose ends, practically, legally and financially, whilst being battered and accused of causing all these problems, whilst everyone believed he was incredibly talented, attentive and dutiful.

So much so, my mother was still doing his ironing for him, even after I had fled from my own home because of the abuse. At that time my son believed he was the good guy and I had been having affairs. My best friend deserted me and started up a business with him. My accountant took his side and went into business with him too. Most of my colleagues and students thought I was nuts and he was wonderful.

No-one believed me!

Man – can you even imagine how devastating that was for me? When I look back, I have no idea how I even survived those abandonments and betrayals. I really thought I was going to die.

Thank god I found the way to heal this utter trauma and change EVERYTHING in order to FINALLY be validated by life and people beyond measure.

To achieve this, I had to let go of NEEDING and even WANTING other people to get who he was and what he was doing to me.

I had to realise that this wasn’t even about him – it was all about me supporting, validating, and getting myself.

You see, before narcissistic abuse (without knowing it because it had always been my normal) I had been living life from the outside in. I had always been seeking recognition, approval and love from people outside of myself in order to try to feel whole on the inside.

How ironic that he came into my life, mirroring this back to me – as a narcissist always on the hunt for narcissistic supply because of his own lack of inner wholeness!

This didn’t mean that I was a conscienceless, cruel, narcissistic person also. What it did mean was that I was empty within and precariously needy on how other people saw me and felt about me.

In my Thriver Recovery I went inside to ‘what hurt’ and I found the wounds of not knowing and believing who I really was, and not having my own established Inner Identity. I realised that the narcissist in my life was the other side of the same coin, of me not being healed.

After leaving the narcissist and finally embarking on my true Quantum Inside Out Healing Journey, I went inwards to these particular fractured beliefs creating these feelings of ’what hurts’, loaded them up and released and replaced them with my Superconscious Self  (The Quanta Freedom Healing NARP process) and emerged from these healings without my triggers and trauma.

That was when I discovered, I couldn’t care less anymore about him pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes and them not believing me. Suddenly, I felt the most whole and content I ever had about my self-identity, without needing anyone to validate it.

Then an astounding thing happened VERY quickly (all of the following took a few short months).

My mother and son caught out his lies and came back to me.

The business with my best friend went horribly wrong with the narcissist and again I was validated.

My accountant reported in, saying the horrible things that had happened with his dealings with him.

Countless other people ‘got’ me, and the truth about him (including authorities and police who he had previously manipulated constantly.)

I was fully vindicated.

But my vindication had already happened INSIDE of me – I had no need for it.

As of today, I have seen the same happen for thousands of other people worldwide – regardless of their circumstances.

I have seen all sorts of people, family, friends, even alienated children, judges, and police ‘get’ the truth.

That’s how powerful our Beingness is – so within so without.

This following is the TRUE gift … even if life didn’t shift in your favour in this way, if you free yourself from your inner trauma, then you are able to live and create your new life regardless.

The ‘state’ is what you are chasing – then ALL else can follow.

I really want you to understand something that I am SO grateful for today…

Thank goodness people didn’t ‘get’ the truth and turn back to me BEFORE I went through this process. If that HAD happened, I would have missed my own healing back to wholeness and my evolution that has changed my life so beautifully and magnificently ever since.

Okay, I’d love you to join me to heal from this, in direct, powerful ways that you couldn’t have known existed yet – until you connect to them.

You can do so by signing up to my 16 Day free course, which has so many FREE empowering healing resources for you,

And, I’m really looking forward, as always, to answering your questions and comments below.

 

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Want to resolve your Texas family law case outside of court? Remember these rules of engagement

What do military parents need to do to ensure their children are cared for prior to deployment?

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

Military parents have a great deal on their minds, both before setting off for deployment and while overseas. If you count yourself among those people who serve in our armed forces I would like to first thank you for making that sacrifice for all us here in southeast Texas. We are indebted to you for your willingness to go above and beyond in protecting our country. The sacrifices that you make are especially difficult if you are a parent.

Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is geared towards helping you to know what is recommended for you to take care of prior to your being deployed. Obviously, it will be very difficult for you to focus on anything other than your mission once you are overseas, so it is much wiser to start focusing on these issues now rather than later. Financial, medical and emotional support for your children is essential to their being able to grow up and become positive contributors to our country.

Does your child have a legal father?

This is not the same question as asking whether or not your child has a father. If you are a mother who was not married to your child’s father at the time your child was born, he or she could be lacking a legally recognized father. When two parents are married, there is a legal presumption that when a child is born the mother’s husband is the father to the child. No further action needs to be taken by the couple to have this legally established. However, that presumption does not exist when parents are not married.

If you and the other parent were not married when your child was born you could have completed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) that is your statement under oath that this child is your biological offspring. If you and the child’s father fills out one of these forms and files them with the state, no further action will need to be taken. The father of your child will from that point forward be the legal father of your child. While an AOP may not have been completed, a court order may have been obtained previously that legally recognizes the father of your child.

Or, you could find yourself in a position where fatherhood was not acknowledged voluntarily and you have not yet been to court. Some people in your position find themselves not knowing at all what the situation actually is. Does your child have a legally established father or not? If this sounds like where you are, then you can choose to go one of the two routes I described above. You and your child’s father can voluntarily acknowledge paternity or you can file a paternity lawsuit and have paternity determined through a court case.

Are there orders in place from a court that deals with custody, visitation and child support?

This is another big issue that you need to attend to prior to going overseas. It is likely that you and your child’s other parent will share parental rights and responsibilities. A possession order will determine how much time you will be able to spend with your child and when. With your going overseas it is seven more important that you know what the visitation you will have with your child is going to be like once he returns from overseas. Most parents who have gone through family law cases are joint managing conservators. You can ask a court to have your ex-spouse or child’s other parent to be able to determine the primary residence of your child while you are outside of the country.

Rights and duties relevant to the possession of your child

While most parents in Texas share on a near equal basis in the rights and duties associated with raising their child, one right that is not held equally is the right to determine the primary residence of your children. Either you or your child’s other parent will hold this right individually. The parent who has this right is known as the custodial parent. The other parent is known as the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent has their time spelled out in the court orders under a possession order.

An important question to ask yourself is who will be able to have custody of your child while you are deployed overseas. As mentioned a moment ago, you can ask the court to be able to allow the other parent to be able to determine where your child lives while you are away overseas. Likewise, if you are the noncustodial parent to a child then you can ask the court to assign your visitation time with your child to another adult.

What is the parenting plan going to look like while you are deployed?

A court order goes into a great amount of detail regarding a number of different subjects related to you and your child, but it typically will not discuss with much detail what will happen with your child should certain contingencies occur in your lives. There just simply is not enough room to work every hypothetical situation into this document.

What you and your child’s other parent can do is create an agreement/roadmap that will go into the level of detail that you would like. That way there will be no question as to what will happen when you are deployed and are not able to fulfill your duties as a parent when you are shipped overseas.

What about child support? Will your child still be able to receive support even after you are not ln the country. A child support order includes two requirements. The first is that financial support be provided to your child and the second is that medical support will also be provided. If you are the noncustodial parent, then you need to be aware that your net monthly resources will be what is needed in order to determine how much child support you will pay.

It happens on occasion that sometimes parents who are deployed overseas seas is that their income can change- either positively or negatively. If this occurs, you can request a modification of the current court orders to show exactly what degree of an income increase or decrease has occurred. This could be true even if you are the parent of a child who will not be deployed but who raises a child with a person who will be. You can also ask to have a modification of the amount of child support that you receive done.

You may want to see if you can arrange it so a relative of yours has access to your bank accounts while you are overseas. This can come in handy if your child needs someone to help him or she pays for something while you are deployed.

How to get child support set up before you go overseas for deployment

If you and your child’s other parent have never been able to agree upon how much child support should be paid, then it is a good idea to attempt to get this number established by a court prior to your being deployed.

Many parents find themselves in a position where he or she will agree with the other parent on an amount to pay in child support, only to see that other parents increase the amount for seemingly no reason at all. Thus, if you want to avoid the chances of your child’s other parent asking for an increase in child support while you are deployed, it is wise to attempt to get a court order before you even leave the country. Since custody, visitation and other aspects of parenting are also taken care of in a child support case, there are even more reasons to attempt to establish a fixed amount of child support prior to deployment.

Can you designate another person to receive information about the amount of child support that you pay or receive when you are out of the country on deployment?

You are able to designate another person to receive information about your child support case by filling out a form and sending it into your local child support office. You can go to the Office of the Attorney General’s website for more information on this. Likewise, you can also revoke this form when you return from deployment.

What happens if you are already deployed and your child is born?

As far as logistics is concerned, it would be a lot easier for you if your child is born before you are deployed to another country. However, sometimes you cannot control when these things happen. In the event that you are overseas when your child is born and you are not married to the child’s mother, you can still establish paternity via an Acknowledgment of Paternity being completed.

You may not be sure if you are the child’s father. If that is the case you should not sign any paperwork until you can have genetic testing administered. Free DNA testing is offered through the Office of the Attorney General.

If you are beyond the point of establishing paternity, you should do whatever you can to maintain a relationship with your child when you are overseas. Technology has made this task much easier given that phone calls, email, Skype, social media and text messaging are all prevalent. It is true that you will not have as much of an opportunity to take advantage of these methods of communication but you should seek them out when you have the available time. You can have a profound impact on your child even when you are thousands of miles away.

You can also check in with your child’s other parent so you can maintain a sense of decision-making capabilities when it comes to the daily life of your child. School activities, extracurricular events, doctor’s visits, and many other occurrences will go on in your absence. You can feel less homesick and distant from your child by keeping up to date with what is going on in their life as best you can.

What should you do when you get back home from deployment?

You should get in touch with the Office of the Attorney General’ child support division in order to re-establish who is to receive child support on behalf of your child and who can access information about your child now that you are back home.

Noncustodial parents should ask the OAG to review your case if your income has increased or decreased as a result of being deployed. The child support that you pay no longer be correct based on those changed circumstances.

Finally, you should spend as much time with your child as possible. While he or she is likely very happy to have you back home, it may take some time for him or her to adjust to your being home instead of overseas. You can learn about your child’s life and how it has changed. This will help you to make decisions with your child’s other parent about your child’s well-being.

Questions about family law issues in Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

Do you have any questions about the content in today’s blog post? If so, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week. These consultations are a great opportunity for you to ask questions and receive direct feedback about your particular circumstances.

Our attorneys and staff take a great deal of pride in being able to help the people that live in our community. We practice in all of the family courts of southeast Texas and work every day to help our clients achieve their goals. If you are facing challenging circumstances related to your family, you need to look no further than the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to assist you in whatever capacity you need.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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Just in Time For Summer: The Freeze-Out Merger, A Legal Option Available to SOME Majority Owners of Privately-Held Texas Companies

Originally published by Winstead.

By Zack Callarman and Mark Johnson

Our previous posts have stressed the critical importance of buy-sell agreements for both majority owners and minority investors in private companies (Read here). For majority owners, securing a buy-sell agreement avoids the potential of becoming “stuck” in business with a difficult co-owner without the ability to force a buyout of this minority investor’s ownership stake. For at least some majority owners of private Texas companies, however, another option exists. This option is commonly known as a “freeze-out,” “cash out” or “squeeze-out” merger.

What is a Freeze-Out/Squeeze-Out Merger?

A freeze-out/squeeze-out merger is a merger of two or more business entities that results in one or more of the equity holders of one of the pre-merger entities being cashed out as a result of the merger (i.e., not allowed to own equity in the post-merger surviving company).

Mergers are governed by state corporate law, and most states have several similar, but separate, merger statutes for corporations, LLC’s and other forms of business entities recognized under state law that govern mergers of those entities under various different circumstances. In that regard, it is worth noting that a “freeze-out/squeeze-out” merger is not a distinct type of merger governed by its own separate statute, but rather is a “characterization” given to a merger reflective of the purpose behind the merger, irrespective of the specific merger statute under which the merger is effectuated.

The Requisite Authorization and Approval for a Freeze-Out/Squeeze-Out Merger

Under state corporate law, mergers typically must be authorized and approved by both the equity holders and the directors of each of the entities participating in the merger. In the case of corporations, that means that typically both the directors and the shareholders must authorize and approve the merger, whereas in the case of LLC’s that means that typically the members and the managers must authorize and approve the merger. The actual level of that approval (i.e., unanimous consent vs. 2/3rds consent vs. majority consent) is governed by the applicable state merger statute together with the operative provisions of the entity’s organizational documents. By way of example, under Texas law, unless the entity’s governing documents provide otherwise, (i) the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting shares is required to authorize and approve a merger of a corporation, and (ii) the affirmative vote of the holders of at least a majority of the outstanding voting membership interests is required to authorize and approve a merger of an LLC.

So, the gating question for any individual or group wanting to possibly effectuate a freeze-out/squeeze-out merger is: Do you have the requisite vote under applicable law and under the entity’s governing documents to authorize and approve the merger?

The Fair Market Value Presumption
It is important to remember that while a freeze-out/squeeze-out merger may well enable the “majority” to force one or more minority holders out of the company, a freeze-out/squeeze-out merger does not entitle the majority to steal, or cheat the minority holders out of, their equity interests. The minority members who are being frozen or squeezed out should receive fair value for their interests. Otherwise, the majority proponents of the freeze-out/squeeze-out merger will likely be vulnerable to claims by the minority interest holders for oppression, breach of fiduciary duties, etc.

In the case of corporations, the “fair market value” presumption is governed by statute. In many (but not all) mergers involving corporations, under state corporate law, the effected shareholders, including any minority shareholders who will be frozen or squeezed out as a result of the merger, have statutory “dissenter’s rights” or “appraisal rights”. In short, a shareholder with “dissenter’s rights” or “appraisal rights” who objects to the amount that he is going to receive in exchange for his equity interests as a result of the merger is entitled to go to court and appeal the valuation. The court then has the power to revise the amount that the shareholder will receive based on its determination of fair market value.

Curiously, LLC statutes do not typically include dissenter’s rights provisions. However, given (i) the well–established fair market value presumption that exists in the context of corporate mergers, together with (ii) the strong “fiduciary duties” overlay that exists under statutory and common law with respect to the duties and obligations of members of LLC’s with respect to their fellow members, prudence dictates that the majority proponents of a freeze-out/squeeze-out merger make every effort to honor the fair market value presumption in any freeze-out/squeeze-out merger they effectuate.

Logistics of a Freeze-Out/Squeeze-Out Merger
So, assuming that the majority proponents of a freeze-out/squeeze-out merger have the requisite vote under applicable law and under the entity’s governing documents to authorize and approve the merger, how do they do it? The answer to that question will again depend in part on the form of the entities involved, the governing corporate statutes, and the organizational documents of the entities involved, but with those qualifications, the answer is pretty simple: The majority proponents form a new entity with whatever ownership and capital structure they desire, and then they merge the existing entity (i.e., the entity in which the soon-to-be frozen or squeezed out equity holders hold an interest) into the new entity. Under the terms of the merger agreement, among other things, the new entity will be the surviving entity, and the equity interests of the frozen or squeezed out minority interest holders will be redeemed for cash in an amount equal to the fair market value of the redeemed equity interests.

Conclusion

The freeze-out merger is a legal avenue that may not be widely known by majority owners of private companies, but it is used with some regularity in Texas and is rarely disallowed by the governance documents of most companies. There should be a note of caution for majority owners in deploying this technique, however, because if dissenter’s rights apply and are exercised by the minority investors in response, the freeze-out merger may result in a time-consuming and a costly appraisal process.

Zack Callarman (Associate) and Mark Johnson (Shareholder) are members of Winstead’s Corporate, Securities/Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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child custody & vacation

Child Custody & Vacation: How Can Travel Plans Affect Your Custody Agreement?

child custody & vacation

 

Traveling as a family isn’t very complicated. As a duo, you were able to decide on the best location, dates, budget, meals, and packing strategy. In a divorce, traveling with children is a whole new ballgame. Suddenly your plans require extra steps and the law can get involved.

Traveling plans affect custody agreements in a variety of ways. Depending on traveling plans, custody agreements are subject to modification. If you have concerns about your custody agreement and are in search of a divorce lawyer, please refer to your local directory and get the answers you need regarding child custody.

Local lawyers will fight for you and your child’s best interest and will provide you with unique and individualized attention. While there are little-to-no ways of avoiding traveling issues between you and your ex, there are steps that can be taken to ease the process.

Please consider the following step by step maneuvers when dealing with child custody and vacation:

Have a Written Agreement

Needless to say, upon divorce there must be a written document in place that addresses child custody arrangements. There are no defined rules for custody and you and your partner are allowed to modify pre-established agreements. Within this agreement, should be a section designated to special occasion custody circumstances. When undergoing a divorce, it is critical to have in writing, under what circumstances one parent is allowed to travel with the child.

Can the child and parent leave the country? Will they be unsupervised? Is the other parent allowed contact with the child during the vacation? All these concerns and more must be addressed in writing to avoid disputes and serious legal complications.

What is a Controlling Document?

Specific conditions related to travel should be included in a controlling document. There are basic provisions that should be clarified within the document, such as whether the parent must be notified if the parent is taking the child out-of-state.

More specific issues should be clarified as well. If one parent has pre-decided custody for a certain holiday, but the other parent wishes to take the child on vacation during the same holiday, the protocol for those circumstances must be made clear.

Who is allowed to travel with the child and parent and who is not? This should also be included in the document. Who will provide proper travel gear for the children and who will store this equipment? Is the child allowed to miss school days for vacation time? All of which must be addressed in advance. An important issue that must be decided upon divorce is which parent will store travel papers and official documents and how soon must they provide the other parent with that information.

Travel Rules

If your ex successfully takes the children on vacation and then begins violating your previous agreements, you are allowed to sue them for breach of contract. If your ex does not allow you to speak to the children on vacation, you can file a motion with the court and have your former spouse held in contempt of a court order. This notifies your ex that if they continue to breach the agreement, you will take legal action – just because they are not physically reachable, they will face consequences.

Don’t Wait, Contact A Divorce Lawyer Who Can Provide Assistance

There is no way to completely prepare for every possible scenario that may occur upon traveling. The more issues you and your ex are able to address and reach consensus on prior, the better. If you are in search of a qualified divorce lawyer and want legal guidance on custody issues, contact a legal team to schedule a meeting with a passionate professional today and ease your custody concerns.

The post Child Custody & Vacation: How Can Travel Plans Affect Your Custody Agreement? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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planning your dream divorce

Planning Your Dream Divorce

planning your dream divorce

 

Brides will spend months, even years, planning their “dream wedding”. Vacationers will spend months planning their “dream vacation”. Yet a couple rarely gives much thought to planning their “dream divorce”. While a divorce is far from dreamy, planning your divorce is smart.

Planning can save you thousands of dollars, cut significant time off the divorce process, and help you build confidence around your decision.

Planning your dream divorce is an effective strategy for gaining your freedom.

What is Divorce Planning?

Divorce Planning (a/k/a Pre-Divorce Planning) is a process in which you build a roadmap of how you plan to exit the marriage. Planning for a divorce involves clarifying your goals, educating yourself about your rights, gathering information, exploring your options, and working with your legal and divorce team to customize a strategy that is best for you.

Divorce planning can address questions like:

  • Where will I live during the divorce?
  • How will I pay for things during the divorce?
  • How will I serve my spouse?
  • How much time will I get with the kids?
  • How can we minimize the conflict?
  • How do I time everything?
  • How will I tell my children, family, and friends about the divorce?
  • What is the plan to settle this?

Myths about Divorce

Divorce Planning can also help you overcome common myths and misconceptions that may be holding you back.

Myth #1 – If I see an attorney, that means I have to file for a divorce right away.

By seeing an attorney, you do not have to file for a divorce right away. In fact, seeing an attorney about divorce does not mean you have to file for divorce at all. You can begin planning your marriage exit strategy first and then file for divorce when you’re ready. By pulling in an experienced family law attorney to brainstorm your options, you are building the foundation of a team that will support you and guides you into the next chapter of your life.

Myth #2 – Divorce planning will make my divorce cost more.

Divorce planning is strategic and smart, and it can save you thousands of dollars. Think about a trip to the grocery store. If you go in with a list and coupons, your experience is efficient, and you save money by staying focused on getting the things you want and need. If you go in without planning and just a loose idea of things you might need, you end up wasting a lot of time and money on things you may not need, get distracted with “shiny objects”, and likely forget something along the way. Similarly, divorce planning can help you stay focused on what you need and avoid getting distracted by the things that will cost you in the long run.

Myth #3 – If I plan my divorce, it means I’m a bad person.

Divorce guilt is not truth. It takes courage to make the decision to leave a marriage that has been dead for years. Your children do not have to watch the two of you continue to suffer or learn that what they see is what they should aspire to. By leaving a bad marriage, you are not only freeing yourself, but you are also freeing your husband and your children. By planning your divorce, you are being proactive in protecting yourself and your children’s futures. That first brave step is the ultimate expression of love.

Six Steps to Take Action on Right Now

Divorce Planning can empower you to take control of your life. If you’re thinking about divorce and want to start planning, below are six steps you can take right now.

1. Don’t agree to anything yet!

The divorce process takes time. Your husband may threaten to take things away if you don’t agree. Or you may want to make an offer now and “strike while the iron is hot”. But resist the temptation. Talk to an attorney right away to find out your rights and options. Do not rush into an agreement that you will regret later.

2. Obtain a copy of your credit report.

If you don’t already have a credit monitoring service that provides one, you can download a copy of your credit report for free. You don’t need the score, just the report. Review the report to make sure there aren’t any surprises and to discuss how to handle debts in your name.

3. Set aside a “Rainy Day” fund.

Protect your money! You may need to open a new bank account or credit card before you file for divorce. You may need to move some money around (legally!) to protect you and your children from being financially strangled. Setting aside money to cover anticipated living expenses, medical expenses, and attorney’s fees is smart and limits the financial control your husband may try to use against you. If you’re not sure where to begin, speak with an attorney.

4. Consider a safety plan.

In situations where domestic or family violence is involved, plan smart and stay safe. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (www.thehotline.org/) has a safety plan you can download for free. Be sure to share it with someone you trust and get the support you need.

5. Reassure your children that they are loved and safe.

Your children will take their cues from you. Tell them that it is not their fault, even if they tell you they know that. They may put on a brave face, but if you’re feeling afraid, lonely, and devastated, chances are they are too. And if your husband tells the kids about the divorce without you, don’t freak out. It’s a jerk move, but it happens. Avoid pulling the children in the middle of things or blaming the other person. It may be hard to do, but it pays off in the long run.

6. Do not sign anything without an attorney looking at it!!

If you are presented with anything, do not sign it!! An unassuming Waiver of Citation can end up waiving your rights to your children, property, and right to a trial. An Informal Settlement Agreement that is poorly drafted or omits certain rights can bind you to an unfair agreement and have a ripple effect on the rest of your life. And if you’ve drafted something you want your spouse to sign, beware of potential errors in legal drafting. You may think to be agreeable or taking short cuts will make things easier, but you could be giving up valuable rights, making things more complex and expensive later on.

Not every divorce lawyer implements divorce planning in their practice. In fact, most don’t. But if you are apprehensive about divorce and looking for guidance, look for experienced family law attorneys who are open to discussing your options and empowering you with information. With the right guidance, you can feel more confident about realizing your dreams of freedom.

The post Planning Your Dream Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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